Our hands and wrists are incredible pieces of engineering. Nearly every daily task we complete involves our hands in some way. As a result they can become overworked, tired, and sore. In this technological age, lets face it, most of my clients' hands are their money makers. So they cannot afford to have them out of commission. Yet Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is now a common ailment.
Everyone has heard of carpal tunnel. The symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the hand and wrist. The cause is an impingement of the median nerve that runs from your forearm to your hand through a small space called the carpal tunnel (think Caldecott Tunnel at rush hour). The median nerve is super important because it controls movement and feeling in the thumb and first three fingers.
Have your clients check out their posture when they're typing, driving, riding a bike or gardening. They should ask themselves, “Is there tension in my hands and forearms?” “Am I clenching my hands?” “Are my wrists in one stagnant position for a long time?” If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” they should do some self massage.
Here's what I tell my clients:Start at the top of your forearm where you bend your elbow and with gentle force find any “spots” that seem to be achy and hold constant pressure on them for 10-15 seconds. You should hopefully feel a release in the muscle. Keep moving down the arm and into the hand this way.Lastly, do more Pilates! Your shoulder girdle and upper body should be helping your forearms and hands to complete tasks. Often carpal tunnel can be traced back to the muscles in the neck and shoulder blades. STOTT PILATES® focuses strongly on shoulder girdle stabilization and strength. Pilates exercises will help keep your wrists, forearms, and shoulders work together in healthier, happy harmony!